Low-Down Archives Sep-Oct 2009

September-October 2009

For the New Moon in Virgo:
September 18 to October 4, 2009

And the Full Moon in Aries:
October 4 to 18, 2009

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Sep.18 – NEW MOON in VIRGO (25:59 of Virgo)

NEW MOON in VIRGO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.18, 2:44 PM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.18, 7:44 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Sep.19, 4:44 AM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience VIRGO energy in your life.

Virgo is nothing if not curious (some might say relentless) about how to make things better. Whatever it is, however much you have done, no matter how many times you have adjusted it, tinkered with it, fussed with it and scanned it from every possible perspective – it can always be improved somehow.

This lunar cycle is a time to reach out for new ways to make life better, be it your own or someone else's. This could involve health, work, service, or how you organize your space and your time. If you're aiming to produce something magnificent, it is in the details, integrity and consistency that you will find that extra "something" that turns something good into something great. If your intention is to find excellence in simplicity, minimalism or precision, it is by fine-tuning your focus and your actions that you will achieve your goal.

The New Moon is exactly conjunct Saturn, which means whatever you do, it's gotta be real. Theories, ideas and tidbits of information are not enough – it needs to be applied if it's going to have real value. It's also not enough merely to fuss with minutiae or to blindly follow a formula – it's important to take responsibility for what you do, how you do it and what results from your actions.

Saturn can indicate either beginnings or endings or both, depending on the situation. It can bring to an end something that has lived out its lifespan and now requires closure. This could be a job, a relationship, a project or an attitude. Endings imply new beginnings, since the space in your life previously occupied by whatever or whoever once filled it is now vacant and ripe for something new to move in. However, before something new can begin, some housecleaning is necessary to clear away the debris left over from the old. That's basically what closure is. Finishing up, sweeping away any lingering attachments to what was and allowing the dust to settle.

Saturn also calls for commitment. In that sense, it is a fork in the road where you must choose whether to continue on the same path or to go in a different direction. If you decide to continue, Saturn often requires that you commit yourself at a deeper level or enter into a new phase of development. If you strike out on a new road instead, it becomes necessary to leave behind the previous direction, which is an ending of sorts.

New Moon conjunct Saturn and Mercury, opposite Uranus, square Pluto

Saturn also tends to indicate the necessity for a more conventional approach to whatever you are doing. Whether that is about taking on more (or new) responsibility or conserving your resources so that you have what you need to meet the challenge, it often means foregoing some of the more exciting aspects of life in favour of taking the time to make sure your duties, necessities and responsibilities are being taken care of. If you want the results, it means you have to put in the time, energy and effort. And if you want specific results, you need to follow the "tried and true" formula.

On the other hand, we have Saturn and the Sun-Moon conjunction opposing Uranus. Uranus doesn't mind responsibility as long as it's exciting, original and freely chosen. Force Uranus to keep his nose to the grindstone and he is more likely to grind off his nose to spite his face—and then break the stone. Uranus needs change and adventure, revolution and freedom, innovation and vision. It is oriented toward the future and has little use for the "been there, done that" traditions, except maybe to use them as markers for what not to do.

Saturn and Uranus have been in opposition all this year and will continue into 2010. We just recently had the third of five passes of this transit (Sep.15), which is a completion of the first part of this long transit. The first phase began on Nov.04 – Election Day in the US, which brought an intense transition to a country deeply divided between forces of tradition (Saturn) and forces of change (Uranus). The global economic struggle has also unfolded throughout this time, as initial crises have demanded swift, unprecedented and often controversial action. The struggle between the conservatism and liberalism, tradition and change, establishment and revolution, continues to grow and often seems deadlocked as each side digs in deeper, determined to emerge the victor.

This process of struggle between polarized opposites now begins a new phase of development, ushered in by a New Moon that is perfectly aligned with the Saturn-Uranus opposition (well, to a Virgo it's almost perfect; to everyone else it's perfect). This emphasizes the new phase when Pluto forms a powerful T-square aspect figure, which will dominate the skies in 2010. This T-square is in effect now, and its energy is channelled by this New Moon in Virgo.

Pluto ups the ante, so that this new phase bumps up the Saturn-Uranus energy from mere change to transformation. Pluto brings Uranus past liberation from inhibiting constraints to the outright elimination of obstacles. And Pluto takes Saturn from loyalty to the conventional approach into a "get real" level of living with the consequences of that commitment.

In a way, Pluto creates a "be careful what you ask for" crucible. You want change? Great, let's remove all the barriers and see what happens. You want security and stability? Okay, let's see what happens when there is more control in your life than you ever thought possible. This isn't a mere threat, though, but is Pluto's way of saying, "Fine, let's put this to the test and learn what this situation is really made of. Only then can we get past this stalemate. Only then can we take the best of both sides and transform them into a unified, lasting solution."

How does this affect your personal life? Much depends on the natal houses these planets are in, since those areas of your life will be most affected. If you have natal planets or points in the last 7 degrees of the signs, they could be dramatically affected (especially in the Mutable signs: Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius and Gemini). Remember that this is a slow process of evolution, but this New Moon cycle is likely to bring a clearer focus to what that evolution involves for you personally, especially if it interacts with your natal chart in major ways. To find out more about this, a personal astrology reading is strongly recommended.

For example, you might find it's time to get started on a new long-term project that involves a job that can give you the qualifications you need to achieve your career goals. Or, it might be the perfect time to get your health back on track through attention to your eating habits, a fitness program, and organizing your life so that you get a better balance of sleep, rest, work and play. Or, you might feel called to get involved by doing volunteer work with a group or organization that you feel can make the world a better place. Or, you might be confronted by circumstances that raise your awareness of behaviours or attitudes of avoidance, escapism, addiction or obsession which keep you from being the best you can be.

The New Moon is also conjunct retrograde Mercury, the planet that rules Virgo. This puts a spin on the New Moon energy that takes us inward in speculation and reflection about what is truly necessary to create change that will have the needed effect. The challenge is to look deep inside and see the path that is truly yours – both the worst case scenario (that you need to acknowledge and avoid) and the best possible result (that you need to recognize and move toward). Your challenge is also to do this, as much as possible, not with self-condemnation or cold perfectionism, but with a steadfast self-love that is like a parent who wants the best for their child enough to be firm.   

Sep.20 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (27:35 of Virgo)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface.   

Sep.20 – Venus enters Virgo (until Oct.14)

Under this transit, it is possible to fall in love with purity, precision and analysis. It is a time to invest in health, efficiency, and your contribution to the world around you. The beauty is in the details, as you embrace a labour of love in your life. Just don't get so enamoured with pristine splendour that you get lost in perfectionism and unable to accept the natural imperfection that exists in all life and humanity. Each of us is the Universe's perfect child, but we are also in a state of becoming and growing and are therefore likely to make human mistakes. Remember that we're here for the journey, as much as the destination. This part of the journey takes us into service and devotion, whether that is focused on another person or on ourselves.   

Sep.20 – Venus trine Pluto (00:40 of Virgo/Capricorn) (Sep.21 in UK, AU)

Close one-on-one connections with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) will tend to gravitate to a deeper, more intense level now. Instead of automatically doing the diplomatic, "nice" thing, you may find it is more fulfilling to share more of your authentic feelings. It may be possible now to connect with people on a deeper level, while still ensuring that your interests are equally balanced with theirs. The trick is to do this without trying to control or overpower the other person, and it may be easier to avoid those traps now. You could make some deeply intimate connections with people under this transit. Financial dealings with other people may also go smoothly, although it might be wise to get clear confirmation that you're both on the same page about the fine print.   

Sep.22 – Mercury Retrograde conjunct Saturn (25:34 of Virgo)

It's time to take a serious look at the circumstances and situations in your life. This transit may not exactly be "party time" but it's a great transit to have when you need to take a dispassionate, objective, clear view of life. You may be called upon to make a decision about something. For example, you might need to commit yourself to a particular plan of action, or start developing plans toward a particular goal. In either case, it may be necessary to limit or let go of other options. You might come to the conclusion that something has run its course and it's time to leave it behind – like an opinion or project or mindset. It's a time when your perception, thoughts and words may not be exciting, imaginative or entertaining, but you're probably more able to be clear, grounded decisive and hard working.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.17, Sep.22 and Oct.08. Past decisions may require rethinking during this Mercury retrograde cycle. This second pass is a good time to "do your homework" to discover why the original decision is unworkable or needs to be changed, as well as gathering new information to consider. If you are prone to depression, you might be feeling this for a few days before and after this date. It can be helpful to think of this as the tide having gone out before it comes back in again with "new fish to capture." It's good to be productive during this transit, but if you feel overwhelmed then take some time out and tend to the essentials that will keep you moving. Don't burn yourself out.   

Sep.22 – HAPPY EQUINOX – Sun enters Libra (until Oct.23) (Sep.23 in AU)

EQUINOX TIMES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.22, 2009, 5:19 PM EDT

London, UK:
Sep.22, 2009, 10:19 PM BST

Sydney, AU:
Sep.23, 2009, 7:19 AM AEST

Happy Solar Return to all Libras! While the Sun is in Libra, it brings experiences into our lives that focus us in the areas of love, close relationships, one-on-one interaction, diplomacy, negotiation, strategy, fairness, equilibrium, balance, harmony and beauty. This time also marks the point of equal balance between day and night – the Autumnal Equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, the nights now become longer than the days, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the days become longer than the nights, until the December Solstice. Balance – is the key concept here! What is out of balance in your life? How can you negotiate or strategize to bring that area of your life back into harmony? Libra encourages you to balance your life in diplomatic, discreet, "win-win" ways. But if that's not possible, it will do it aggressively (creating conflict in order to break the stalemate of the imbalance) or manipulatively (people-pleasing to co-dependently get its way). Thus, Libra is known as both the peace-maker and the war-maker. If you find yourself instinctively trying to smooth out conflict – or instigate it! – take a step back and ask yourself if that is your best choice in the situation. Just don't get stuck in Libran indecision! Make your choice and then see if it brings what you want.   

Sep.23 – Sun square Pluto (00:41 of Libra/Capricorn) (Sep.24 in AU)

This can be a challenging time, when your sense of purpose, identity and direction may feel blocked, overpowered or regulated by forces beyond your control. You may find yourself confronted by difficult situations or people, requiring that you rally an unusually strong show of power to keep from feeling powerless or overwhelmed. The trick is to center yourself in empowerment rather than simple power – that means your power comes from within yourself rather than from controlling people and situations outside of yourself. You might find yourself involved in power struggles or abandonment, either in the present or stirred up from the past. You might be forced to let go of your attachment to something or someone due to circumstances beyond your control. However, this can also be a time when you reach inside yourself and find you have more strength than you thought you did. Adversity may inspire new assertiveness and purpose in you – empowerment born of conflict and struggle.   

Happy Astrology Day!

Happy Aries Equinox!

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Sep.23 – Mercury Retrograde opposite Uranus (24:23 of Virgo/Pisces) (Sep.24 in AU)

This is a wakeup call! You are asked to open your mind so that you can see something about your life, yourself or your situation that has eluded you until now. It might be a shocking revelation that changes your whole perspective...or it might also be a delightful surprise that adds a new dimension you hadn't thought of. However it manifests, you are in a position to see your situation more clearly and objectively – although this can also make it seem like this energy is outside of you and happening TO you. However, if you look closely inside yourself, you may see thoughts, perceptions and impressions that correspond to the external events and participate in the interchange. Emails, Internet chats, and interaction with technology may be part of this transit as well. Communication may be a bit erratic or unpredictable, so be careful not to speak thoughtlessly or carelessly. However, you may find that words and perceptions come to you intuitively and spontaneously.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.21, Sep.23, Oct.04. You might have been shocked, surprised or received a revelation of insight back in August, and now you are investigating this further to find out what is really behind it. Or, perhaps you discovered that it is in your best interest to break a habit of some kind; maybe to break free of an old mindset or way of thinking that is only getting in your way or keeping you stuck. This is the time when you might benefit by analyzing, dissecting or even just "going with" whatever is on your mind right now.   

Sep.24-Oct.09 – Yod aspect pattern ("What's a Yod?")

Yod aspect figure

This mystical aspect figure creates a burning quest to find a conscious, pragmatic understanding of your highest potential and your connection to spirituality (in whatever way that is meaningful to you). The Yod points to the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction in Aquarius, which is an existential quest to find meaning, healing and higher purpose in your life. Yet, the Yod also creates mental struggle to make sense out of paradox and expand intuitive awareness of what that paradox means. In this case, the paradox focuses on a question: how is it that life can be both healing and cruel; uplifting and devastating; supportive of blissful dreams and yet demanding of soul-crushing choices?

That said, questions like these can easily mushroom into something so huge that they can leave you overwhelmed and discouraged. Therefore, when grappling for answers it is important to stay grounded in specifics rather than trying to digest everything in one gulp. For example, you might be dealing with a situation in your family or at work, or you might be planning to launch a new project or adopt a new routine to improve your health. It will help to stay focused on what you can do now, rather than trying to anticipate where it is all going, especially if you are prone to depression or are easily discouraged.

Astrologically, this is a busy Yod! Its apex moves slowly through the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction in Aquarius. It also involves Mercury as it stations Direct (Sep.29) and it includes the Mercury-Saturn conjunction (Oct.08). The third corner of the Yod is Mars conjunct the South Lunar Node, urging us to let go of anger, confrontationIt is also a prominent feature in the chart of the Full Moon in Aries (Oct.04). And at the tail end of its lifespan, Venus joins in as it approaches a conjunction to Saturn (reaching exact on Oct.13).

You're likely to feel the Yod's effects especially on Sep.29. Mercury stations Direct on that day and the Moon conjoins the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune group, both of which are likely to bring the Yod energy to a sharp peak. In addition, Mercury, Mars and Chiron are all at exactly 21° on Sep.29-30, which brings the Chiron energy into specific focus. The Wounded Healer is capable of wielding words with the skill of a surgeon, so be sure your motives are as pure and compassionate as possible and your intentions are for the good of everyone involved, without succumbing to the lure of a martyr mentality. If you're going to sacrifice yourself or your own needs, be sure you are clear about what the practical result will be.   

Sep.29 – Mercury stationary Direct (21:36 Virgo; direct until Dec.26) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  "What does stationary mean?"  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.  Read article about stations.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde since Sep.07, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. These past 3.5 weeks have challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again. Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow ("What's the Shadow?"), your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.   

Oct.04 – Daylight Time begins in Sydney, AU

Australia is quite a patchwork quilt of time zones, daylight savings time, and time change dates. Please check the date and time (if any) of time zone changes for your location. If your location changes to Daylight Savings Time today, move your clocks ONE HOUR FORWARD.   

Sabian Symbol for Aries 12: A flock of wild geese

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Aries

Aries 12

A flock of wild geese.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") shows an image of the natural cycles of the earth. Geese migrate when the seasons change, and this symbol invokes the mystical rhythms of life on our planet. This image has special significance right now, since the migration of birds is marking the transition from one season to another.

Geese fly in a V-shape, with the bird at the apex leading the way, but they take turns in that position. Blain Bovee notes it is "an expression of a group structure that most efficiently can make headway toward instinctive goals." (The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed)

The human psyche is a gestalt structure, composed of different feelings, needs, thoughts, attitudes, hopes, fears, agendas, motives and dreams. This symbol reminds us that it is only through a focused alignment of our inner parts that we will make the most progress.

Interestingly, the V-shape seems to echo the triangle of the Yod aspect figure that is active now at the Full Moon. Perhaps this is a hint that the current energy is best utilized by attuning yourself to the natural rhythms of the seasons and the cosmic forces of the soul – to your greater sense of Self and your highest aspirations.

This symbol also suggests we are currently undergoing a process of change and transition, moving from one state of being to another. If you feel like something is shifting in your life, it probably means you are responding to the natural cycles of growth within you.

And if someone gets in your way, you can tell them to make like the birds and flock off. (Well somebody had to say it... ;-)

 

Find out more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

Oct.04 – FULL MOON in ARIES (11:09 of Aries)

FULL MOON in ARIES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Oct.04, 2:10 AM EDT

London, UK:

Oct.04, 7:10 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Oct.04, 5:10 PM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience ARIES energy in your life.

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Now that Mercury is freshly back from its retrograde time-out (Sep.07-29), the Aries Moon is bursting with energy and itching to get moving! The urge is strong right now to forge ahead, initiate action, test your freedom and prove your courage. Mercury in Virgo is exactly opposite Uranus at the Full Moon, which adds to the impulsive energy that wants to just break free of all the ineffective, blocked and toxic obstacles in its path.

So if you're feeling like you've got ants in your pants, it wouldn't be surprising!

Mars is the dispositor (planetary ruler) of the Aries Full Moon, and whatever happens to Mars gets passed on to the Full Moon energy. Mars is "in fall" in Cancer, where it suffers the indignity of being subject to emotional vulnerability. Its sensitivity and empathy in Cancer make it difficult for Mars to know how to express itself assertively, directly and courageously. This is not always a bad thing, since it can minimize Mars's tendency to overreact – except perhaps if that reaction arises out of a need for protection of oneself or others.

Mars and the Moon are in mutual reception (they are each in the sign that the other rules). This reinforces the Moon's need to channel feelings into direct action and straightforward expression, as well as Mars' sensitivity to how its actions might affect others.

Yod aspect figure

Both Mars and Mercury are involved in an exact Yod aspect pattern with Neptune right now. This Yod began Sep.24 and continues until Oct.09. Today these 3 planets are all at 23° forming an exact and therefore very strong Yod aspect figure.

Mercury and Mars point to Neptune, the planet of idealism, imagination, spirituality and psychic phenomena. Mars in intuitive, empathic Cancer and Mercury, the planet of perception and awareness, must channel their energies in a direction that inspires much yet offers little in the way of how to achieve its promise.

The sextile (60°) between Mercury and Mars gives you the ability to be quick on the uptake and verbalize your perceptions. Since they collectively point to Neptune, your awareness and instincts are likely to be intuitive, creative, ambiguous or even pure fantasy. The projection factor is likely to be strong and impulsive, so that it might be difficult to tell what are your own feelings and urges and what are someone else's that you're picking up.

This can be a powerful resource if you're in the business of artistic creation or intuitive insight. You might also be powerfully inspired into "taking the high road" in your actions and intentions, especially where family, work, health and relationships are concerned. It will help to stay grounded in the practical goals you are aiming to achieve, while letting go of trying to forcefully control the outcome.

On the other hand, it can be a disadvantage if you get caught up in the idealism and perfectionism of these planets, perhaps believing you must meet impossible standards in your actions. At its worst, you might feel you must sacrifice yourself on the altar of giving to others, losing yourself in the needs of others, which could merely amplify feelings of inadequacy and still not fulfil the purpose of your sacrifice.

The proof of your courage, intention and strength lies not in your ability to sublimate your ego's desires and impulses in something outside of yourself (like drugs, alcohol, martyrdom or religious doctrine). Rather, aim to expand your awareness of your intentions, attitudes and yearnings into an inspired detachment which allows you to act from practical choice instead of impulsive escapism or reaction. A personal astrology reading can help you find the courage and focus to make the most progress toward your goals.   

Oct.04 – Mercury opposite Uranus (23:57 of Virgo/Pisces) (Oct.05 in AU)

This is a wakeup call! You are asked to open your mind so that you can see something about your life, yourself or your situation that has eluded you until now. It might be a shocking revelation that changes your whole perspective...or it might also be a delightful surprise that adds a new dimension you hadn't thought of. However it manifests, you are in a position to see your situation more clearly and objectively – although this can also make it seem like this energy is outside of you and happening TO you. However, if you look closely inside yourself, you may see thoughts, perceptions and impressions that correspond to the external events and participate in the interchange. Emails, Internet chats, and interaction with technology may be part of this transit as well. Communication may be a bit erratic or unpredictable, so be careful not to speak thoughtlessly or carelessly. However, you may find that words and perceptions come to you intuitively and spontaneously.   

Oct.04 – Mars trine Uranus (23:56 of Cancer/Pisces) (Oct.05 in UK, AU)

This is a very high energy time, although not necessarily predictable or reliable. Your energy may come in spurts or in response to situations that don't normally affect you very much. You may find an upsurge of daring and confidence that seem to come out of nowhere. Or your sexual desire might suddenly come alive. This transit can inspire motivation that is spontaneous, sudden or unexpected. It might make your physical or emotional energy fluctuate or feel a bit "wired." However, it can also give a burst of courage and drive that can propel you out of a rut or inspire you to break free of limitations. Freedom, liberation and asserting your individuality are key areas that can ignite this energy. You might also find yourself involved in group activities, possibly in a leadership role or in a way that your ideas have a greater effect than usual on others.   

Happy Astrology Day!

Happy Aries Equinox!

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Oct.04-16 – Multiple/Rolling Conjunction: Mercury, Venus, Saturn

These combined energies challenge you to make a conscious decision about the values you choose to live by. Everyone has values, preferences and standards, but we don't always apply them in our day-to-day lives. This transit asks you to look at the ways you might feel underappreciated, unrecognized or unfulfilled. It can be tempting to fall into a grumbling funk and complain that others are not giving you the respect you are due. Although there may be truth in this to some extent, the thing is: others often unconsciously take their cue from us when deciding how to respond to, understand and evaluate us. If we send out signals that we don't respect ourselves, or that we expect to be underestimated by others, they often become synchronized to our energy and respond in kind. I'm not saying that every bad thing that happens to us is our own fault. Rather, this is about taking a look at ourselves to see what we might be doing that invites a disappointing response from others. It's a reality check to see if what we're getting from others might actually be a mirror reflecting something that is also in ourselves on an unconscious level.

In the same way, we might be doing this with others. If we find ourselves reacting in a way that is less than fair or respectful, our first responsibility is to look at ourselves to see if this is the most honourable way to handle the situation. However, it's also possible that the other person is sending out subtle messages that we're picking up on.

These three planets travel close to each other for about 2 weeks, mostly in Virgo but later with Mercury and Venus stretching into Libra. They are closest on Oct.08-09. This transit is a chance to examine how much your behaviour, choices and communication are consistent with your sense of personal integrity, whether you're looking in the mirror or whether you're acting as a mirror for someone else – and then to make changes that ensure you are truly making your own choices and not just coasting on automatic pilot.   

Oct.08 – Mercury direct conjunct Saturn (27:31 of Virgo)

It's time to take a serious look at the circumstances and situations in your life. This transit may not exactly be "party time" but it's a great transit to have when you need to take a dispassionate, objective, clear view of life. You may be called upon to make a decision about something. For example, you might need to commit yourself to a particular plan of action, or start developing plans toward a particular goal. In either case, it may be necessary to limit or let go of other options. You might come to the conclusion that something has run its course and it's time to leave it behind – like an opinion or project or mindset. It's a time when your perception, thoughts and words may not be exciting, imaginative or entertaining, but you're probably more able to be clear, grounded decisive and hard working.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.17, Sep.22 and Oct.08. This has been a long transit during which Mercury and Saturn have been in conjunction (or at least in the neighbourhood) from Aug.11 to Oct.14, while Mercury went through its retrograde cycle. This transit has brought a focus to the Saturn-Uranus opposition, as well as their forming T-square with Pluto (which peaks in 2010). This may have been a time of unusually hard work for you, a struggle with mental depression or pessimism, or a time when your plans, ideas and perceptions have become crystallized in clarity, realism and pragmatism. At this final pass, you might reach some conclusions, make some decisions or put your choices into action which you have wrestled with for the last 2 months. This transit could bring a crossroads where you are finally able to let go and leave behind a burden that you have been carrying around. On the other hand, if your conclusions or decisions feel more like resignation, discouragement or giving up, it may be wise to talk with a friend, physician, counsellor, spiritual advisor or consultant to make sure you're not simply giving in to depression or despair.   

Oct.09 – Mars conjunct South Lunar Node (26:28 of Cancer) (Oct.10 in AU) ("What is the Lunar Node?")

This transit's range of influence is roughly from Sep.27 to Oct.22, although it reaches its peak now. The South Lunar Node is where we let go of, move away from, express or release something. Although the South Node can involve loss of some kind, it can also signify that what had previously been actively in the "foreground" of your life is now moving into the "background" and becoming assimilated as simply one part among many, rather than being a specific focus. Often whatever is being released is something we took in, embraced or began to move toward when Mars passed over the North Lunar Node (Feb.16.2009 at 09:07 of Aquarius). The North Node is sometimes known as the Dragon's Head, which eats or consumes. The South Node is known as the Dragon's Tail, which... well you get the idea. ;-)

Since this involves Mars, what is being embraced or released likely has to do with anger, aggression, assertiveness or forcefulness. This might also be about sex or physical energy or something being set into motion. Depending on your natal chart, this could also involve the houses Mars rules and resides in, as well as where the current transit is taking place.

So think back to what was happening in your life in February. What came into your life at that time? What did you "take on" or encounter? The same themes are likely to be revisited, although now you are letting go or releasing in some way. This is the "exhale" to February's "inhale," whether you are breathing a sigh of relief, shouting in anger, singing the praises of what was begun in February or singing the blues about what has unfolded since then.   

Oct.09 – Venus opposite Uranus (23:46 of Virgo/Pisces) (Oct.10 in AU)

Relationships, social interaction, material resources and emotional balance may be a bit unpredictable or unstable around this time, as Uranus the Awakener sounds a wake-up gong in these areas. You may be more inclined to act out of character, to experiment or be reckless in relationship, social or financial matters, which could be liberating or disturbing, exciting or upsetting. Circumstances or other people might create a situation in which you are forced to respond in an unusual or unfamiliar way. The idea behind this energy is to become more flexible and more open to a broader vision of what is possible in those areas. There may be weak spots in the affected areas which this transit illuminates by creating problems, so that they can be repaired and strengthened, or else broken and released so that new opportunities can come in. Trust the process and keep your eyes open to seeing new truth and insight.   

Oct.09 – Mercury Direct enters Libra (until Oct.28) (Oct.10 in UK, AU)

Mercury glides into Libra, bringing awareness and new ideas about your style of interaction and how you communicate with others. It may be easier to speak (and listen) with gentleness, fairness and diplomacy during this time. Thoughts, ideas, communication and negotiation could reach a state of increased balance and harmony, and you may be especially sensitive to other people and your environment. You could be more motivated to balance criticism or anger with gentleness and diplomacy. On the other hand, interaction could also become a carefully crafted game in which truth, honesty and facts are replaced by manipulative strategy and "white lies" designed to avoid hurt feelings. Indecision and "fence sitting" are possible under this transit, since you are more able than usual to see many different sides of a situation. It might help to bounce your ideas and thoughts off someone who can be a good sounding board and give you feedback. It may be easier now to reach a win-win solution to conflicts, which is fair to all concerned – but be careful you don't make incorrect or self-serving assumptions about what the other side wants.

This is the second entry into Libra for Mercury which was in Libra from Aug.25 to Sep.17. Mercury began its recent retrograde cycle there on Sep.07 and resumed direct motion on Sep.29.   

The Future Minders

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TheFutureMinders

Oct.10 – Sun trine Jupiter (17:10 of Libra/Aquarius)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!   

Oct.10 – Mercury Direct square Pluto (00:52 of Libra/Capricorn) (Oct.11 in AU)

You are faced now with a challenge to empower your communication and perceptions, although this may not come easily. It could involve having to face some rather difficult truths that might be a bit disturbing or hard to accept. However in doing so, you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself, your situation and your role within it. Obsessive or persistent thoughts that are morbid or paranoid are possible, which could be helped by finding something more positive to focus on or a creative outlet. Communication (from others or yourself or both) could be intense, intimidating or even downright damaging, since it may be tempting to get caught up in power struggles and domination. But communication can also be used now to heal, by cutting through hypocrisy and insincerity in order to reach a deeper authenticity and truth – like lancing a boil so that healing can take place.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.26, Sep.17 and Oct.10. Any challenges you may have had around finding your voice, speaking your truth or having to deal with confrontations may flare up again now. However, at this final pass you have the chance to test out and implement what you have learned in the last few months. Perhaps you have learned how to speak your truth regardless of whether it will create the results you want. Or, you might have learned how to hold your knowledge in silence, staying centered inside yourself and knowing what your truth is, not needing external validation. Whatever this process has been for you, it is now coming to a conclusion.   

Oct.12 – Mars sextile Saturn (28:04 of Cancer/Virgo) (Oct.13 in AU)

There is an opportunity to harness the energy of willpower using practical discipline. Your physical and mental energy are likely to be stable and enduring, or else they can become this way more easily than usual by applying a sustained focus of effort. This is a great transit if you need to be productive or to make progress in a goal that you are working toward. The thing to watch out for is a tendency to be over-cautious to the point where you get stuck in the planning stage and don't get much done. Or, you might try to rush into the production phase before your plans are fully formed. This transit works best when these areas are brought into balance.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Oct.12, Feb.15.2010 and Mar.22.2010. This is due to Mars coming up to a retrograde cycle (Dec.20 to Mar.10.2010). Mars doesn't technically enter the Shadow until Dec.09 (after which it will make 3 passes to planets in your natal chart), but because Saturn is moving around too, the first pass of this transit occurs long before Mars encounters the Shadow. Therefore, the potential and energy of this transit will have an unusually long "shelf life."   

Oct.13 – Jupiter stationary Direct (17:09 of Aquarius) ("What's a Station?"  Read article about Stations.  Read more about Retrogrades.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a surge of idealism, inspiration and confidence. A quest for knowledge, truth, optimism and faith could become a beacon of energy in your life. Jupiter has been retrograde since Jun.15 and is now changing direction again, resuming its normal direct motion. You may have been exploring and developing the deeper qualities of spirituality, beliefs, confidence, knowledge, faith and/or optimism during that time. Or you might have found ways to expand your horizons—directly through travel or indirectly through the study of other cultures and languages. For the next 3 months (as Jupiter retraces its steps through the Shadow), you can start to apply and integrate what you've learned over the past 4 months. For example, if you have been taking a special course or exploring your religious beliefs, this might be a time when you are able to put your discoveries into practice or place them into your worldview. This turning point may be uplifting, overwhelming, inspiring and/or illuminating. You could discover new meaning in areas of life that had become stale or worn out, or you might realise that your old ways of understanding don't work for you anymore and need to be let go. Whatever you've learned or gained over the last 4 months, it is now available to be expressed and used more openly and directly in your life.   

Oct.13 – Venus conjunct Saturn (28:08 of Virgo)

The serious structure and responsibility of Saturn combines with the desire for pleasure, beauty and material abundance in Venus. This can be a good time to make concrete plans about financial matters (e.g., investments, budgeting, purchases, etc.), although this will work best if you do some serious research first, rather than simply going for whatever seems to "feel good." This is a time to begin a process of commitment, whether that involves developing your resources to achieve a certain goal, or negotiating the terms of a relationship or partnership. However, in order to clear the way for new commitments to flourish down the road, sometimes old commitments must be brought to a close first. So this may also be a time when previous involvements or plans may come to an end, especially if they no longer fulfil your needs or lack enough potential to reach your desired goals. In a similar way, you might find yourself blocked from being able to move forward in the areas of relationships, finances or pleasures. These areas may require some reworking or reconsideration before you're ready to proceed.   

Oct.13 – Venus sextile Mars (28:32 of Virgo/Cancer) (Oct.14 in AU)

It is possible now to take a balanced approach to conflict, problems and projects that require effort. This can combine both a gentle touch and firm action; sensitivity and forcefulness. Negotiation and interaction with others could be aggressive and determined now, but also balanced with sensitivity and style. Any expressions of anger, frustration or discontent are more likely to be tempered with fairness, moderation and composure. You'll have to apply some effort to get these opposite energies working in sync together, but the potential and opportunity are there more-so than usual now.   

Oct.14 – Sun Trine Chiron (21:21 of Libra/Aquarius) (Oct.15 in AU)

This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it.   

Oct.14 – Venus enters Libra (until Nov.07) (Oct.15 in AU)

Venus glides like a graceful model through her own sign of Libra, giving you the opportunity to expand your interactive style, cultivate diplomacy, beautify your surroundings, schmooze with social connections, and discover a new fashion statement. Find something beautiful, balanced or harmonious to appreciate or do during this time. You might consider visiting an art gallery, or watch a romantic movie, or listen to music that moves you into a peaceful place inside. You might feel drawn to going shopping for beautiful clothes or items to decorate your home. It can also be a good time to negotiate agreements with people, in a way that is fair and is focused on a win-win solution. Do something to celebrate, express and discover your inner and/or outer beauty. Find new ways to balance your own interests with those of others, which generates good will and harmony.   

Oct.15 – Mercury leaves the Shadow (until Dec.09)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it went retrograde from Sep.07-29. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective, which gives you more choices than you had before. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something, this can be a good time to decide what direction you want to go. Just don't forget your common sense.   

Oct.15 – Venus square Pluto (00:57 of Libra/Capricorn) (Oct.16 in AU)

Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires – the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.   

Oct.16 – Mars enters Leo (until Jun.07.2010)

Fire meets Fire during this transit! Physical and emotional energy tends to run high and hot. This transit is great for doing work that requires a creative, dramatic, courageous or confident focus. This is also very playful energy that spurs you to throw off inhibition and express your most brilliant self. Sexual energy can be aroused, as well as anger or aggression. Assertiveness may emerge as more confident, edgy and dramatic than usual. If these emotions are based on defensiveness, lack of self-esteem or automatic reactions to unconscious assumptions, your effect could go overboard and come across as arrogant or sensationalist. On the other hand, if you tend to be a "shrinking violet" and find it hard to express yourself openly, this transit could provide some courage, inspiration and motivation to help you break free. To make the most of this transit, find ways to bring out your playful, creative, expressive side.

Mars usually takes about 5 or 6 weeks to travel through a sign, but it stays in Leo an unusually long time because it goes retrograde there from Dec.20 to Mar.10.2010. (Read more about Mars Retrograde.)   

Oct.16 – Sun trine Neptune (23:47 of Libra/Aquarius) (Oct.17 in UK, AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Hope, optimism and imagination spring eternal right now, which can bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity can become very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision. And you experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.   

Next Update:  NEW MOON in LIBRA - October 18, 2009. Available by Oct.18.

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